Ten Trends We Loved in 2011

From luxury shoes to cultural influences, 2011 brought us some of the best trends in wedding and reception styles that we have seen in a long time. Many people this year have been booking their venues with Tradewinds Hotel. Brides and grooms channeling their own personal style, incorporating pop culture and following the advice of well-known wedding stylists have embraced these styles above all others.

1) Two Gowns. Having a gown for the wedding and a separate, less formal gown for the reception is not only acceptable, it has become extremely popular since Kate Middleton embraced this trend last  April.












2) Aisle Runners. Custom aisle runners have become the latest must-have. Available in an array of colors, monograms, styles, this is a trend that is going to explode in 2012.



3) Flash Mob. Having the entire wedding party take part in a choreographed but, seemingly impromptu dance is a big hit and makes a great wedding video.


4) Headbands.  Smooth, sleek, spectacular and sparkly, the headband was the headpiece of choice. The number one reason is that a great headband will look good with any hairstyle.
















5) Going Green. Couples have taken note of environmental concerns and continue to place the future of our planet among their top priorities and are willing to pay more for green, eco-friendly products.


6) Culture. Couples are infusing their cultural heritage into the entire event from start to finish. Blending cultures, food, dance, music makes a warm welcome to all members of the family.












7) Luxury. Couples are cutting back on non-essentials to spend more on luxury items. Figure out what is important to you and spend the money there, whether it is food, top shelf liquor from https://www.bullfrogwineandspirits.com, an exceptional cake, Bvlgari cufflinks or a couture gown – you will never regret treating yourself to something fabulous and tasteful.





8 )  Shoes. The bridal shoe has gone from ordinary to extraordinary, explaining why brides everywhere are so excited about their shoe; wearing color, over-the-top sparkly platforms and opting for fabulous designer shoes for their wedding.











9) Less is more. Classic Black & white photography,  monochromatic decor, engraved invitations. The classics never die and and ‘”Simple”  is a style statement that needs no explanation. You won’t see any leopard prints here.

















10) Seating. One of the best trends in receptions is the ‘conversation area’.  Beautiful furniture to match your decor, arranged  in the bar area to give the appearance of a lounge. The benefits are endless; in addition to adding an element of style, you provide an area other than the table for guests to meet and mingle.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Green Weddings! Step One – Flowers

Earth Day is only 4 days away and in celebration of Mother Earth, I am dedicating every day this week to a different topic on how to “Go Green” with your wedding. 

Going Green is not just about recycling or re-using, it is also about using products that reduce your carbon footprint. Simply put, your carbon footprint is based on how much CO2 is generated by the goods you consume.


Flowers are green, the foliage is green and the leaves and stems are almost always green. But not all flowers are created equal. Brides and grooms today have so many more options than those of days gone by. Even as recent as ten years ago,”Going Green” was more of a chore than a choice and there were few (if any) options  for an environmentalist. If you are an eco-conscious couple you will want to consider these tips:

Buy locally – Many flowers sold in the U.S. are shipped from faraway places  (China or Ecuador). Logically, flowers flown in from other parts of the world require much more carbon emissions that flowers grown locally.  Transportation, shipping, handling all contribute to higher CO2 levels being emitted into the precious atmosphere. The bonus? Local flowers are generally cheaper and you are contributing to the local economy.

Use Organic Flowers – Organic flowers seems redundant. After all, they should all be organic..right? yes, and no. Some flowers are grown in conditions that require intense amounts of nasty pesticides. If you are a staunch environmentalist,  pesticide-free flowers are the only option. The bonus is that organic flowers actually smell like flowers!!

Potted plant centerpieces – A single potted Orchid will look smashing at the center of your table. Hydrangeas and Tulips are popular potted options as well. Worried your tables will look like the garden center at Home Depot? Relax, a qualified florist can transform an ordinary potted plant into a masterpiece.








Grow your own –  Although it may seem ridiculous, it is entirely possible for even the novice to grow tulips, paper whites, Amaryllis or Hyacinth to be used to accent the room.

Talk to your florist– By far the most important piece of advice ever given! I strongly advise having a conversation with your florist about how you can go green. If you want to grow your own bulbs – great! Talk to your florist (first) to see how they can incorporate these into your scheme. I will issue a strong warning to all brides: Do not attempt to design and arrange your own centerpieces or bouquets. It is a mistake.  Unless your Aunt Fanny is a certified, trained florist – don’t let her do it, either. Just because she makes centerpieces for the Junior League once a year does not mean she can handle the magnitude and demands of a wedding.

Bridal Expo is the first and best place to being your journey for an eco-friendly wedding. Driving to one of our shows with 60+ vendors will save  countless hours of driving time and considering gas is $4.oo gallon or more, it is entirely possible that you will save hundreds of dollars on gas.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago